Group pushes for underwater sports in Philippines

THE World Deep Expo tackled the developments in underwater sports in a forum yesterday at the Shangri-la Mactan Resorts and Spa.

Philippine Association on Underwater Activities (PAUA) president Benedict Reyes said that their group is now working with the academe and has partnered with the University of the Philippines Diliman, which now offers fin-swimming and scuba diving as PE subjects.

PAUA has been promoting underwater activities in the country and is also in charge of undertaking marine conservation projects and sports tourism.

Among the underwater sports they offer are aquathlon, underwater wrestling, underwater hockey, underwater rugby and fin-swimming. The group was recently recognized by the Philippine Olympic Committee and Philippine Sports Commission.

Fin-swimming is the progression of a swimmer using monofins and bifin either on the water surface or underwater using only muscle strength. It is a discipline under the World Underwater Federation.

In the sport of finswimming, the country took home one gold, one silver, and one bronze in the 2011 Southeast Asian Games.

In the 2011 Hong Kong Summer Competition, the group also won 14 gold medals and had two first places in the 16th Hong Kong International Fin-swimming long distance competition.

The Philippine Finswimming Federation Inc (PFFI) is a non-profit organization serving as the highest governing body in the discipline of fin-swimming in the country.

Meanwhile, Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving (PCSSD) executive director Karen Chan announced that they will put up four new hyperbaric chambers are being proposed for this year.
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